Man injured after trying to beat light rail train - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Man injured after trying to beat light rail train

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Surveillance video shows a driver was apparently trying to beat a light rail train when his car collided with it in south Charlotte Monday evening.

CATS officials released the video Tuesday afternoon.

The accident happened just before 8 p.m. at the light rail tracks on the 3800 block of South Boulevard near Clanton Road.

Tonya Whitley, was riding the train and recalls the moment of impact.

"We couldn't believe it," she said. "Like on the train, we were like what?! We didn't realize till after that there was a car actually on the track."

She says the train was packed Monday night when a silver car clipped it near the Scaleybark station.

Officials think the driver was trying to beat the train and say the stop arm was already down.

"You can't believe what some people do, you know," she said. "But maybe it will teach them next time to slow down."

WBTV did some digging into the Blue Line's safety record. In the five and half years, Lynx trains have been running, there have only been a dozen accidents.

That doesn't surprise John Allen, another regular rider.

"You hear about accidents and people, doing crazy things and pulling out in front of the train and going around the gates," he said.

He used to live in South End and saw plenty of near misses -- and believes the responsibility is on drivers and pedestrians.

"They can't stop on a dime," Allen pointed out. "Once they get going, physics really does exist. You gotta watch it."

In fact, once the emergency brake is applied it takes 600 feet -- that's the length of two football fields -- for the train to come to a complete stop.

Medic confirmed to WBTV that one person was taken from the scene to Carolinas Medical Center-Huntersville. That person is expected to be okay.

Officials have still not said if any charges will be filed.

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